AMD 890GX SB850 Chipset Debut: Phenom II X6 Ready

Article Index

Summary and Conclusion

Performance Summary: The two AMD 890GX-based motherboards we tested performed well throughout our testing. Generally speaking, motherboards based on the new 890GX chipset should perform right on par with previous AMD platforms when the capabilities of the 890GX's superior IGP don't come into play. In the system level benchmarks like PCMark Vantage, the 890GX was only marginally faster than the 785G, if at all. However, in the GPU bound tests, the 890GX was significantly faster than the 785G. The 890GX's integrated Radeon HD 4290 graphics core is superior to any other AMD IGP and it surpassed the performance of Intel's HD Graphics solution in a number of tests as well.

The 890GX is a nice step forward for the AMD platform. In terms of features, an argument can be made that the 890GX / SB850 combination is the most advanced desktop chipset currently available. The Radeon HD 4290 IGP is one of, if not the most powerful integrated graphics solution on the market and the SB850 is the first Southbridge to natively support SATA 6G, even if the latter doesn't mean much in terms of performance at this point in time.

Our testing also showed the AMD 890GX to be a solid performer in light of the company's previous chipset offerings, and it was a capable overclocker as well. Despite the increased performance of its IGP, the 890GX was relatively power-friendly too.  There's nothing like having better performance overall, within the same power envelope as the previous-gen product.  It's a win-win.

Expect AMD 890GX-based motherboards to be available from a number of AMD's board partners almost immediately. Prices will vary depending on the board configuration, form factor, and features, but we're told the Asus and Gigabyte offerings we looked at here will fall somewhere in the $130 to $180 range, which puts them about on par with previous-gen products. Considering the 890GX's excellent IGP and native support for future-looking features like SATA 6G, it appears to be an excellent choice for users looking to build and AMD based system, especially those on a budget where a top-shelf integrated graphics solution might fit the bill.


  • Solid Performance
  • Power Friendly
  • Great IGP
  • Overclockable
  • Competitive Pricing
  • IGP Still DX10-Class
  • Non-Native USB 3.0
  • No True Dual x16 Graphics

Related content